Reading can make us more empathetic, making us able to connect with other’s emotions more frequently and with more ease. It can also provide plenty of mental stimulation as well as broaden our range of emotional experiences. And if those reasons are not good enough to pick up a book, reading can improve our memory. Reading causes us to engage more than a few brain functions, such as phonemic awareness, visual and auditory processes, comprehension, fluency, and more.
But one of the most important things reading can do for our brains and our bodies is help us become less stressed and reduce stress over time. Reading makes it easier for your brain to relax and temporarily transport itself to another world.
So, with all those great benefits in mind, we encourage you to find yourself a comfy chair, a cup of warm tea and curl up with a good book!
For some inspiration we’ve collected a couple books we think will be stimulating for your brain and help reduce stress.
The Life of Pi is a well-loved and a highly recommended book. It is pure escapism, where anyone who reads it comes out with and entirely different perspective on the book. It’s a great choice for a virtual book club pick, and will help you escape when the stress seems to be closing in around you.
We couldn’t forget a book about a neurological condition. Lisa Genova, neurologist and New York Times best-selling author of Still Alice, delivers a different type of work of fiction for people to devour. This book is heart-breaking and powerful and will educate the reader on what Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is and how it can affect not only the patient, but everyone around them. This story is told from Richard’s point of view, a world-renowned pianist, who has lost the movement in his right arm due to ALS.
Poetry to put life into perspective. Rupi Kaur, Canadian poet, can shed some beautiful light on life within her poetry. This book is perfect for a short 20 minutes of relaxation, or if you find the teenager in your life needing a bit of guidance.
For anyone out there that is single and just needs a fabulous rom-com, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is the perfect book for you. This book will have you laughing from the pure ridiculousness of the situation to forgetting about all your worries just so you can see what happens to Leon and Tiffy!
A good laugh is all you need. Engage your core muscles and your brain with this funny non-fiction book by comedian, Ali Wong. The book is written in two hilarious and heartfelt letters to her daughters (while they were both still in utero) and covers everything she thinks they need to know about life. Sometimes you need a good laugh to forget about the everyday stress you have. AND if you follow the link it’ll suggest other titles that are just as funny!
Whether you are a murder mystery fan or just love Agatha Christie, you’re sure to find something to sooth your racing mind in her wide and bold collection of books. There’s something for every type of reader, whether you’re looking for short and snappy, or you want to read one of her books before watching one of the many film adaptations. You’re sure to find a little bit of calm, even if your heart is racing.
Learn more about the science of reading: